Resolve your disputes amicably and save money.
Mediation is an effective way to settle matters without prolonged litigation, high costs, and emotional drain; yet you will work with the guidance from an experienced family law attorney.
The mediator (attorney) acts as a neutral party to help the parties reach agreements on any or all issues in their divorce. The mediator does not represent either party.
The mediator will review your complete financial picture and help both parties discuss options for dividing finances. Mediation focuses on interests, concerns, and future goals of the parties and covers all areas from property division to child custody, and placement and support. Mediation can be effective even when there is disagreement on issues.
We offer a flat fee mediation package that includes assistance with the required court forms and procedures, including the final Marital Settlement Agreement. A mediator does not represent either party and the parties are still encouraged to have an attorney who can coach them through the process, ask pointed questions and review settlement ideas and language. If you would like to pursue mediation as an option, please contact Attorney Michelle Fitzgerald, who is trained in divorce mediation and has worked with many mediation clients over the last 15 years.
Process of Mediation, generally 3-5 two hour sessions
- Meet with Mediator, start case (begins 120 day waiting period)
- Discuss any temporary needs of the parties
- Gather & Share financial information
- Discuss interests, goals, concerns
- Review range of possible settlement options
- Brainstorm ideas to meet interests, goals of each party
- Negotiate and agree upon resolutions
- Finalize documents & attend hearing (yourselves) for court approval
Collaborative Divorce is another option that allows parties to go through the process of divorce while attempting to minimize the hurtful baggage that oftentimes goes along with it. In a collaborative case, both parties chose a collaborative attorney (from different law firms). The parties agree up front to not litigate the case through the court system.
The parties sign an agreement to accomplish this commitment that becomes a court order. If either party later decides to litigate, each party must seek new counsel and new professional advisors. Hence, parties are motivated to work through issues to progress through the case – generally in face-to-face meetings, rather than letters back and forth.
It is also common in a collaborative case to involve financial experts and mental health professionals. To learn more about Collaborative Divorce, go to the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin. You will note that Attorney Michelle Fitzgerald of Horizons Law Group, LLC is a member of the Council. Also see the process of divorce or Divorce Options page for more information.